Reduce Waste: Take your own Tupperware

For years, I have been going with a group of friends every week to eat at our favourite restaurant. The food was superb, but the volume of food was so huge, it was wasteful leaving it, so I ate till it hurt. To avoid this, I started taking half home each week, with the resultant foil boxes and cardboard lids and plastic bags going in the bin. After a few weeks deciding if food waste or packaging waste was worse, we all decided to take our own plastic boxes. The restaurants prefer not dealing with excessive food waste, I don’t overeat in the evening, I get a free lunch the next day, and there is no packaging waste.

You may think this is weird, but try it (just ask as you’re doing it). Restaurants would prefer you to enjoy your meal and come back than go out for food rarely.

As an alternative, if you know you are not going to eat it all and won’t take it home, ask for a smaller portion.

Reduce waste: Cardiff’s new Energy from Waste plant

Where waste goes does not appear to be a contentious issue, unless someone chooses your neighbourhood to locate it.

The UK exports over 1.5Mt of refuse-derived fuel to mainland Europe every year. When burned, this would be enough to power about half a million households. Energy from Waste uses materials that would otherwise have been sent to landfill, or transported for use in countries such as Sweden, Denmark or Latvia. The method links a waste management method with a non-fossil fuel energy source.

This month sees the commissioning of the new Viridor Energy-from-Waste plant, located in Splott. Residual waste from five counties will be transported here for burning. The process will still produce waste, in the form of ash, which will require disposal.

If we are truly aiming for a reduction in waste, then the plant will become redundant by 2050 at the latest.

I don’t know how I feel about the plant. But I know I still throw rubbish in my black bag, so I am responsible for the need for waste treatment and storage. By reducing black bin waste significantly and by considering the types of materials I will be throwing away, I will have an impact on the requirement to burn rubbish.

For further information, see Cardiff Against The Incinerator, and Viridor’s website.